Former President George H.W. Bush starts off Super Bowl with coin toss

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, took part in the pregame coin toss — and New England Patriots got the ball first in Super Bowl 51.

The Atlanta Falcons won the toss, but deferred their selection to the second half.

The former first couple got a huge ovation, including applause from coaches and players from both teams, when they came onto the field slowly with Barbara in a golf cart and the 92-year-old former president being pushed in a wheelchair next to her.

The Bushes often attend games of the Houston Texans, the host stadium for its second Super Bowl.

Bush, the nation’s 41st president, was recently released from Houston Methodist Hospital, where he received treatment for pneumonia for more than two weeks.

Vice President Mike Pence was also attending the game. He was seen applauding as well.

The teams were on the wrong sides when they lined up and had to be told to switch sides.

The Bush family’s spokesman, Jim McGrath, talked with the Houston Chronicle about how excited the couple was to be a part of the big game:

“President Bush is the most goal-oriented person you can meet. When he sets a goal out there on the horizon, it’s almost like he wills himself to achieve it. They feel great. They’ve been taking it easy since they’ve both been discharged from the hospital – saving up their strength. They’re just fired up and didn’t want to overexert themselves and risk not being able to make it. They’re so focused on this and so proud of their hometown.”